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Every hotel wants to know more about its guests, and some travel startups think they can make that wish come true.
This week’s travel startup watch looks at emerging companies that are creating products that try to make the backend operations at hotels run more efficiently, while simultaneously collecting big data needed to grow revenues and increase guest satisfaction.
>>Absoludata is an analytics provider for hotels offering products for customer and marketing analytics, market research, and gathering big data to visualizie it. To those points, two of the company’s goals are helping hotels increasing non-room revenue and determining what’s the right mix of digital and traditional media investments for them.
SkiftTake: Sometimes hotels think they’re marketing their property effectively when in reality they’re not communicating key information guests want. Knowing how to balance things like publicity in print and digital media is a must, but Absoludata needs to remember PR firms exist for things like this.
>>Nueva Hospitality is an all-in-one suite of cloud solutions that’s tailor-made for small hotels. The company also helps hotels integrate with online travel agencies and metasearch sites as well as implement direct booking engines and linking those to internal property management systems.
SkiftTake: Smaller, lesser known hotels need to make sure they’re bookable on all the platforms their guests use, even more so than well-known properties. Nueva needs to find a way to make hotels find value in adding a middleman to this process rather than working with the online travel agencies directly.
>>UpsellGuru provides hotels with software to enable guests to bid for room upgrades and book reservations for add-ons prior to their stay. This is done through email notifications that also inform guests of what is going on at the hotel during their stays.
SkiftTake: Finding the right way to communicate with guests before check-in is something hotels constantly experiment with. Sure guests will love the bidding process to get the lowest price for a room upgrade, but will hotels be as keen on that? UpsellGuru will have a harder case working with hotels than the consumer if it can build a fan base.
>>Tengwirth wants to help empower hotel employees with an effective medium to receive, record, and respond to customer requests. It also helps employees learn guests’ preferences and behaviors through reports that aggregate valuable and unique data.
SkiftTake: The hotel that gives employees the tools they need to know as much as possible about guests is the hotel that can succeed. The trick is getting old-fashioned hoteliers to believe these tools will work better than the in-person contact and customer service they’ve practiced for decades.
>>HelloTel is a social network for hotel guests. Travelers can connect and interact with other travelers staying at the same or nearby hotel by doing things like adding photos and asking for recommendations for things to do. HelloTel also aggregates this social data for hotels to help them streamline their operations, reduce bottlenecks and provide guests with tailored experiences.
SkiftTake: There needs to be another big incentive besides letting guests share photos and ask for advice — that’s what Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp are for. There is value in connecting hotel guests with each other but the trend is more to do this in person in the lobby or through events on property, which is the real way to learn what kinds of tailored experiences guests want.
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